Nova has been a couple of things over the last… six years:
- Really bad
- Really good
- Annoying to play against
- Fun to play
- A complete troll pick
- A legit assassin
Something needs to change. So I'm taking it upon myself to throw mad ideas at the wall. Maybe a dev will read this and say "That will never happen. But MAYBE that will…"
Things I like about Nova's kit currently…
- I like the mechanics of Snipe and needing to maintain accuracy (you lose your damage bonuses if you fail to hit an enemy).
- I like the mechanics of using Pinning Shot to set up a target.
- I like Precision Strike.
Things I don't like:
- Triple Tap
- Holo Decoy
- No wave AoE till 16 (Explosive Shot) or 20 (when you can actually spam Precision Strike on huge groups of minions/mercs if needed).
Holo Decoy just feels gimmicky. In fact, I see a lot of players who try to act as dumb as the decoy is so that attackers think they ARE the decoy and just walk away. Or they legit have given up… not sure.
First, I'd get rid of both of the Holo Decoy talents at level 4. Scrap them. We'll come back to this, but I just wanted to get it out of the way.
Let's start with level 1 talents then. I want Nova to have 3 distinct paths to go down and build upon. To start, I want to move Anti-Armor Shells from Level 7 to level 1. This is going to the AA route.
Get rid of the Basic Attack range increase on Longshot and combine Longshot with Covert Ops. So we get a Covert Ops Longshot or something…
- Increases the cast range of Pinning Shot by 30%. After being Stealthed for 4 seconds, Pinning Shot's Slow is increased to 55% and costs no Mana. Bonus is lost after losing Stealth for 1 second.
Next we need to rework Advanced Cloaking, the last Level 1 talent.
- After being Stealthed for 2 seconds, gain an additional 10% Movement Speed. Picking up a Regeneration Globe while stealthed increases the duration by 150% and reduces the cooldown and mana cost of the next Holo Decoy by 50%.
Now on to level 4. I really like Covert Mission. I think it's a super cool talent with the 50% respawn time condition. But now we need two more talents here. First we need to rework Holo Stability.
- While Nova's Holo Decoy is active, both Nova and her decoy gain 10 Armor. After being Stealthed for 2 seconds, refresh and increase the duration of active Holo Decoys by 100%.
Now we need a new talent, Shot in the Dark:
- After being Stealthed for 4 seconds, Nova's next Snipe stuns enemy Heroes for 0.25 seconds.
For level 7, we moved Anti-Armor Shells to level 1. I like Perfect Shot, so that leaves One in the Chamber and a new talent. The problem with the current version of One in the Chamber is that it is so boring. It's just "Ability -> AA > repeat." To fix that…
- After using an Ability, Nova's next Basic Attack against an enemy Hero deals 40% additional damage. Stacks up to 3 times.
Now we need a replacement ability Anti-Armor Shells. This one I'm calling Bounty Program:
- Enemy Heroes killed near Nova grant 2 Bounty stacks. Use 1 Bounty stack to bribe an enemy Mercenary, converting them to your side. Does not work on Elite Mercenaries. Maximum of 4 stacks. Converted Mercenaries deal 100% additional damage while Nova is nearby.
Level 10. There's only one thing I want to touch up on for Triple Tap.
- If all 3 shots hit the same target, refund 100% of the mana cost and instantly gain Stealth.
I don't think this is too crazy. I think it allows Nova to set up optimal shots better and be rewarded for it.
Level 13 talents. Psionic Efficiency isn't that efficient of a talent to take. You basically get a 15% range increase. The extra stack just helps you recover faster from losing stacks, but does nothing if you're already at maximum stacks. Let's rework the whole thing.
- Hitting a Hero grants an additional stack of Precision Sniper and permanently increases the range of Snipe by 4%, stacking up to 20%. Gain an additional 5% range bonus at maximum stacks.
Increasing the range bonus from 15 to 25% is OKAY I think because now it's tied to Precision Sniper stacks. This way, you only need to hit 2 enemy heroes to get 16% bonus range (because each Hero grants 2 stacks), but players who can maintain maximum stacks are rewarded for it. I think this makes it a competitive choice versus Double Tap.
Double Tap is really good as it is, because it allows you to store 2 charges of Pinning Shot. The 14 second cooldown (vs 12 secs) doesn't matter at all. That just means it takes longer to recover 2 charges, but because 2 Pinning Shots is 5 seconds of Slow and Armor debuff, it more than makes up for it.
But Ionic Force Field needs something more to compete… but first, I want to move Ionic Force Field to level 16, and move Explosive Round to level 13, unchanged. She deserves that waveclear damage much sooner than 16, and I think it makes sense to choose between AoE damage, snipe range, and pinning shot charges. Three distinct playstyles.
Now to 16… Ionic Force Field, replacing Explosive Round:
- After being Stealthed for 2 seconds, Nova gains a permanent shield equal to 4% of her maximum Health every 5 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times. Gain 25 Armor for 2 seconds after losing Stealth.
Crippling Shot remains as it is, but Lethal Decoy needs attention. Holo Decoy baseline is 10% damage, and this talent increases it to 30%. The strategy is to summon two decoys using Holo Decoy and Ghost Protocol, and then Rewind at 20 for even more. Yawn. Nova needs to be much more clever than that. And 'lethal' should mean exactly what it says…
- When Holo Decoy ends or is destroyed, it explodes for 230 (+4% per level) damage to enemies around it. If this kills an enemy Hero, reset the cooldown of Holo Decoy.
Finally we reach level 20. I have big plans here. First, get rid of Rewind. I don't think any heroes in the game should have it, just like MULE. It needs to go. It's from a different time of HotS. But we need to look at the rest of the abilities…
- Increase Triple Tap's range by 50%. Its shots now pierce all enemies and structures hit, but its damage is reduced by 50%. If an enemy Hero is killed within 3 seconds of the first shot, reset its cooldown.
- Enemy heroes targeted by Precision Strike are slowed by 15% for 1.5 seconds.
- Reduce the cooldown of Permanent Cloak by 2 seconds. Killing an enemy Hero within 3 seconds of losing Stealth resets the cooldown of your Basic Abilities.
- None Found
More about Heroes of the StormPost: "Maybe the Bonkers Rework Nova Needs" specifically for the game Heroes of the Storm. Other useful information about this game:
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